Wellbeing strategies

Wellbeing Strategies in Community Development, With Nick Hernandez- PS048

Episode Overview

My guest is Nick Hernandez.  I became aware of Nick through the Positive Psychology Group on Facebook. This Facebook Group is nudging 100,000 members.  Nick stood out to me as he posts so many great links all on topics related to positive psychology.  I am inspired by him.  So I reached out and found out more about Nicks’s talents and the difference he is making in his communities – local and global.  

It is so easy to speak with Nick.  He has so much to offer, as he passionate about positive scholarship in community contexts. We talk a lot about strengths, wellbeing strategies and the continuity of positive change.

Episode Introduction

Wellbeing StrategiesNick Hernandez organizes events inspired by wellbeing scholarship to spark generative change for organizations and communities. Nick also facilitates strategic planning with an Appreciative Inquiry and Asset Based Community Development model. For over two years, Nick has been interviewing wellbeing scholars and changemakers on Community Matters Radio.

As an economist in the Nebraska Department of Labor several years ago, Nick was introduced to Gallup’s publications on strengths and the Strengths Finder Survey.  This was Nick’s first time exposure to strength-based approaches.  When his report came back revealing his strengths, his default mindset went immediately to “What are my weaknesses and how do I fix them?”  

However, he found such a relief in this strengths-based approach, learning for the very first time there was a whole new way of looking at himself and others.  Up to this point, he had been missing out on the best part of himself.  He refers to it as a revelatory moment.

VIA survey (character strengths survey) followed and it made him more aware of how he approaches life and why he enjoys the things he does and what energizes him,  His curiosity was activated and it became his quest to learn more.   

Excellence In Any Domain

Nick is interested in studying what excellence looks like in any domain.  If he sees something at a 9 – already great, he will want to help it stretch to a 10 – to achieve excellence.  

Appreciative Inquiry and positive psychology focuses us in this way.  When you start with what works in any given system, human or otherwise, and what are already strengths, and you seek to elevate it even more, you are in the domain of excellence, moving forward to achieve full potential.

Wellbeing Strategies

As Nick undertook research into  the field of wellbeing, he found that there is well documented research in the personal development and organizational development fields, but not so much at the community or general societal levels.  This became a passion for him.

Nick offers a clear distinction between the focus on organizations and what drives them (mission, purpose, employees, customers)  and the focus on communities which is about natural and built environments, in addition to what people do in their communities.  

One example of wellbeing strategy in a community: 10 trees on a block is the equivalent of $10,000 income in terms of how an attractive environment  impacts the wellbeing of residents.  Our environment truly influences our subjective wellbeing.

Kindness as a Mover of Wellbeing

In researching happiness and wellbeing, Nick shares a highpoint story of a project, “Seeds of Kindness” that not only brought short-term experiences of kindness into the community, but paid attention to the sustainability of the project.  It’s a truly beautiful story. You will get goose pumps as you hear it. Hint:  Nick wanted to turn random acts of kindness at the community level and grow it to include all kinds of community groups, schools, art centers, gardens and more.  This project also attracted media attention without even trying.  A way to organically  to pump up wellbeing at the community levels.  

Definition of Humility

Nick’s definition and examples of humility are expansive.  Being humble invites you to account to yourself your full set of strengths and potential.  When you create positive change for others, you have the ability to achieve your own potential.  As you learn your way into to your strengths, you begin to pay attention to how to apply them.  You increase your awareness and find a desire to do something at the community level that is in resonance with your strengths.  How you perform is a manifestation of your internal strengths.  As you use your strengths, you feel more energy to want to do more. 

Connect with Nick Hernandez

To connect with Nick, there are many ways via the links below; including his weekly radio show on Community Matters on KZUM.  On his weekly radio show, Nick speaks with positive change makers and scholars and practitioners in wellbeing.

Books Mentioned In This Episode

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